Harry Geoffrey Beasley

Ethnography collector and curator

Beasley was a prolific collector of ethnographic items. His collection numbered over 6,000 items and is distributed between the British Museum, National Museums Scotland, the Pitt Rivers Museum, Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and National Museums Liverpool.

He began collecting early at the age of 13 and was able to continue collecting due to inheriting the North Kent Brewery. In 1914 he married his cousin Irene Marguerite Beasley. In 1928 they moved to a house called Cranmore on Walden Road, Chislehurst, Kent where they created the Cranmore Ethnological Museum. Alongside the museum they formed a large library, which was available to students and researchers, and also published the Ethnologia Cranmorensis.

After his sudden death in 1939, his friend T.A.Joyce, curator of Ethnology at the British Museum, took the extensive collection in for safe-keeping during the Second World War. Irene Beasley kept in close contact with the British Museum, she dispersed the majority of the collection before 1944, giving first pick to the British Museum, with the museums listed above receiving material in descending order.
  • Gender
    Male
  • Relationship
    Artist/maker
  • Nationality
    British
  • Born
    1881-12-18
  • Place of birth
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Kent
  • Died
    1939-02-24
  • Place of death
    Europe: Northern Europe: UK: England: Kent
  • Cause of death
    Diabetes
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